Leila Haddad: Gypsy Dances from Rajasthan to the Nile
ALONG THE LONG ROAD
Fun fact: Gypsies originated in northern India, and migrated westward through the Balkans to Europe and the Middle East. Along with language and customs, their dance forms evolved over the centuries — for instance, Spanish gypsies are known for flamenco, and Egyptian gypsies are known for Raqs el Sharqi, or belly dance. Tunisian-born dancer and choreographer Leila Haddad will spotlight two classical gypsy dance forms — the Ghawazee dances from Upper Egypt and the Kabelyas dances from Rajasthan, India. Traveling from village to village across the Arabic world, Haddad learned many varieties of tribal dance, and will incorporate them in her colorful choreography. At the Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor; call 734-763-3333 or see ums.org for info; $16-$36.
Life is for the Living
ROOTS OF THE STEM CELL DEBATE
University of Michigan film major Michael Rubyan is unafraid to state opinion in the raging stem cell controversy. His film, Life is for the Living, follows five American families struggling with juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's disease or spinal cord injury — all ailments that could potentially be treated through embryonic stem cell research. The film analyzes various positions on the issue, the nuts and bolts of governmental policy and the actual science involved in stem cell research. But will anyone be swayed? At 7:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-8397 for info.
Stories of Community Rebirth
What's a New Yorker got to tell Detroiters about life in the city? Plenty, if the New Yorker is Majora Carter and the advice involves how to be greener, healthier, better planned and more economically developed. Carter will share her stories of "Community Rebirth" as the founder of Sustainable South Bronx. She claims among her achievements acquiring a $1.25 million federal grant for the South Bronx Greenway, a project that includes several shoreline parks. (Detroit has such a project under way.) Carter has ushered in green roofs and started a program for training in green jobs. Detroit City Council has a new Green Task Force that will look at such projects here. Carter will speak at a dinner sponsored by the Skillman Foundation Osborn Good Neighborhood Initiative that's open to the community. At the American Serbian Memorial Hall, 19940 Van Dyke, Detroit; 313-891-7709.
Women of the World Poetry Slam Championship
DUKING IT OUT — METAPHORICALLY
Female slam poets from across North America will gather in Detroit for three days of competitive versification. Host-city chairwoman LaShaun Moore says the point of the event "is to expose Detroit and Michigan audiences to the highest caliber of female performance." Preliminaries at various locations in the theater district culminate in the final event held at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets available through Ticketmaster, at 248-645-6666. More information at wow.poetryslam.com.
Faruq Z. Bey & Northwoods Improvisers
INSTANT REPLY NOW AVAILABLE
We spilled a good bit of ink in '03 when Entropy Stereo released a double-CD of the near-legendary Griot Galaxy, recorded in the 1980s. Entropy likewise deserves props for documenting ongoing collaborations of former Galaxy frontman-saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey and the Mount Pleasant-based bass-drums-vibes group the Northwoods Improvisers. The Bey-Northwoods sound has grown deeper and richer in a number of ways, not the least of which is the additional gale force that comes with saxophonists Mike Carey and Skeeter Shelton joining the action. The fourth collaborative CD is a companion disc for a top-notch DVD, Journey Into the Valley, capturing the group in performance plus interviews and other goodies. Release celebration at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
Carter, Holladay and Ellington
MENTOR, STAR PUPIL TOGETHER AGAIN
Oakland University Professor Emeritus Marvin "Doc" Holladay influenced a generation of area musicians, most famous among them violinist Regina Carter. An OU artist in residence these days, she'll share the bill in an Ellington tribute with Ellington band-alum Holladay, who now lives in Ecuador. He'll also give a free lecture "Jazz Revolution: The Evolution of Indigenous American Classical Music" on Thursday, at 7 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall. Tickets to the Ellington program Friday are $16 ($8 students) at starticketsplus.com and 248-370-3013; 8 p.m. at Varner Recital Hall. Oakland University is located at 2200 N. Squirrel Rd., Rochester; info at 248-370-2030. (Speaking of mentors, the Southeast Michigan Jazz Association salutes performer-teacher-activist-etc. Kenn Cox at Baker's Keyboard Lounge on Sunday, March 16, 2-5 p.m.; 20510 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 313-345-6300. $10 at door. Cox's trio and guests perform.)
Jesus Christ Superstar
BEFORE THERE WAS CREED, THERE WAS ...
The shimmying stagesters in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar are an example of pop spirituality gone wild, sure. But compared to, oh, bands like Creed, its rock evangelism is absolutely delectable. Can you even compare the two? See Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 1971 musical about the last days of JC at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-6611 for info.
Kathleen Rashid, Paintings 1979-2008
In one painting, what looks at first like an abstraction turns out, with more gazing, to be a close-up of a wrist, with blue veins running like graceful streaks of rain down the center of the canvas. In other words, Kathleen Rashid is an artist who looks at the world carefully and leads us to surprises in everyday life. A Wayne State grad with degrees in English and fine art, she creates in accordance with her beliefs in peace, tolerance and the importance of perceiving those things that lie beyond the superficial. The gallery will be on the second floor of 2739 Edwin, in Hamtramck, on display March 15-April 12.
The Vagabond Variety Show
Yeah, more burlesque. It's all the rage. The five local gals of Lunatic Vagabonds bare their bellies, flaunt their fishnets and generally bask in being the center of attention. The vaudeville-style variety show features a sideshow act by Tim TV, sweet glass ball spinning by Fleck and vocal performances by an unusual slew of artists. Check 'em out. At RKS Studios, 17 W. Lawrence, Pontiac. Visit lunaticvagabonds.com for info.
'Danny Boy' Marathon
The folks over at AJ's have quite the grand plan. "With over 1,000 people," they say, "singing the classic Irish folk song 'Danny Boy' over 50 consecutive hours, this St. Patrick's Day will surely be one you'll never forget." Yeah, spend five minutes listening to that song and it won't leave your head. Fifty hours ... Lithium, anyone? Let's start ... "Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling ..." And is someone calling the Guinness people? (For world's records, silly, not the beer!) At AJ's Café, 240 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale; visit myspace.com/ajsmusiccafe for info.
Let's be unnecessarily cruel — but necessarily accurate — and call the Pussy Pirates the poor woman's Sleater Kinney. The cover is, after all, five bucks and thus totally affordable. And with Sleater Kinney on indefinite hiatus, somebody has to carry the torch. Performing as part of the Bookies Reunion Party, the Pirates will be joined by Eric Campbell and others. At the New Way Bar, 23130 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-541-9870 for info.
St. Patrick's Parade
GREEN BEER, DUH
So many ways to partake: As the St. Patrick's Day parade makes its way through traditionally Irish Corktown, revelers can take a midday pause from the outdoor festivities to get hammered nightclub-style. At the "Loaded and Laid" party, eight DJs will be spinning between 11 a.m. and 3 a.m. at the Corktown Tavern, 1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-5103. Down the street, Shadiamond Lafreedom and others will perform throughout the days at gustatory heaven Slows Bar BQ, 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-9828. And for some Pogues-style tunes, check out Bill Grogan's Goat (on at 5 p.m.) and others at the Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668.